Daniel Viera C’22
- Majors: Italian Studies and Spanish
- Minor: Photography
- Launch Career Community: Arts, Communications & Languages
- Launch Identity/Affinity Communities: First-Generation and Ethnic/Racial Heritage
- Resident Assistant
- Tour Guide Coordinator (previously Tour Guide) in Admissions
- Marketing Manager of Ariel
- Social Media Coordinator of Club Soccer
What attracted you to Drew?
The minute I stepped on campus I was blown away by Drew’s natural beauty, especially since I grew up in a city. I liked all of the opportunities that Drew offered and that it was only 40 minutes from home.
Did you know what you wanted to major in when you started at Drew?
I came to Drew thinking I would be a Biology/Pre-Med major. After my first semester I realized that was not the right track for me. With the support of advisors and peers I started exploring different courses. I took Italian in high school so I decided to continue to study it at Drew. I also enjoyed taking Spanish classes so I added that as a major and I fell in love with photography so I added that as a minor.
What is it about photography that excites you?
I believe that photography is a self-discovered extension of myself. I can express my creativity through some of the spontaneous and complex ideas I get more accurately with a camera than with a pencil or paint brush. There is nothing more thrilling than knowing I was present for one of life’s “moments” and it being forever immortalized through my lens, both figuratively and literally.
Do you have any mentors at Drew?
One of my mentors is Spanish Professor Dr. Raul Rosales who offered me advice and guidance even before I was one of his students. Robert Gordon, my Equal Opportunities Scholars (EOS) Admissions Counselor (no longer at Drew) was another mentor and played a major part in my decision to come to Drew.
What issue in the world means the most to you?
An issue that is important to me involves the environmental effects on ethnic minorities.
What are some of the strengths you have gained being a first-generation college student?
It’s a sense of pride I carry with me. Being first-generation has also made me resourceful. Being raised by a single mother we had to be creative. For example, I would make handmade Halloween costumes or complete school projects with what we had available at home.
How has your Latinx heritage identity played a role in your journey?
Growing up in Union City, NJ placed me in a Latin bubble. I didn’t get to experience the diversity I’ve experienced at Drew. I’m proud of being Latino and it means playing salsa while cleaning on the weekends, maintaining a healthy relationship with my family while I’m away at Drew, and eating certain things like arepas.
What are a few highlights of Drew?
My first Ariel event is a favorite memory. I really enjoyed playing Jeopardy with Latin American trivia. Ariel is a great club that feels like family. Everyone in the entire Drew community is welcome to our events.
What advice would you give students who are just starting out?
Go to the events!
What are your career goals? Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
My dream goal is to pursue an MFA in photography at Yale and to become a professional photographer and/or teach photography at the university level.
Are there any fun facts you would like to share?
I have a form of Synesthesia which means when I listen to music I see colors.